Flashing a RedBrick ESC
Flashing an ESC can help improve your motor's overall performance and therefore improve the flying capabilities of your aircraft. Many of the the ESC's that you can get from China, come with poorly written firmware that does make efficient use of the motor. Luckily, a few good people have written and compiled some new firmware for ESC's that rival some of the more expensive brands out there. This tutorial will focus on how to set up and flash a Red Brick 30A ESC from HobbyKing. The videos below are demonstrations of how a flashed ESC can improve motor performance.
Inside the Red Brick ESC, there are six small pads that are designed to be connected to some sort of flashing tool. Coincidentally, the programmer I had purchased for my KK board also worked with these ESC's, so in order to flash the ESC I just needed to make an adapter.
For my adapter I took some solid core wire I had laying around and used them to make extensions out of the servo cables I had on my programmer. I took these extensions and organized them according to the pin layout of the programming pads. RCExplorer's diagrams were very helpful during this step of the process.
The actual flashing process was very simple and it only took a few seconds to flash each ESC. The steps I outline for this process are what I followed using my Mac OSX operating system. All credit goes to the users of RCGroups who compiled this information in a very helpful thread.
Step 1. Go to this link and download the software using Option 1. This is just a package that helps your computer
communicate with the ESC, it won't install a full application that you can interact with - it just runs in the
Step 2. Download the file you will be flashing to the ESC. You can either download from the link below or from the source
website. The folder is called "tgy_2012-03-21_6af382.zip." Once it has downloaded, unzip the folder and open its
contents. Look for a file labeled "tgy.hex" and drag it to your desktop.
Step 3. Open up Terminal by searching for it in spotlight or opening it from the applications folder.
Step 4. Next, copy and paste the following code into the terminal window and hit "Enter". It basically points terminal to
the location where you saved the file from earlier - which should be the desktop.
Step 5. Plug the USB end of the AVR Programmer into the USB port on your computer.
Step 6. After the USB is plugged in, take the other end of the AVR programmer and rest the pins of the programmer onto
their respective programming pads on the ESC. Also, at this time connect a 9V battery to the ESC to provide it
power. The reason a 9V is used as opposed to a LiPo is because if something goes wrong in the flashing process,
the ESC won't be able to overdraw current and accidentally fry itself.
Step 7. Now, while holding those pins in place - copy and paste the following code into terminal. When you are ready to
flash the ESC, hit "Enter" and the code will run. Note: this code only works for ESC's with an ATMEGA8 processor
(e.g. RedBrick ESC's). For more information on the specificaitons of other ESC's, please see the original RCGroups
Step 8. Once the flashing is complete and if it is successful, Terminal should output the following readout:
Step 9. If the flashing process is successful and a motor is connected to the ESC at the time of flashing, you will hear the
motor beep several times after the flashing is complete. That's it! You have successfully flashed an ESC!